Soup Under the Eclipse / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on September 28, 2015
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 28 September 2015 — On the night of
a red moon eclipse, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution
(CDR) celebrated the 55th anniversary of the founding of their
organization. Updated reports state that more than 8,500,000 people (91%
of the population over age 14) are enrolled in the CDRs, of which there
are 136,000 registered throughout the country.
In a common pot the broth is cooking, with root vegetables, a pig's head
or some rib bones. There is music, rum and a statement is read at
midnight. The youngest dance, while the oldest repeat the same jokes
from the year before and there is always someone who asks about someone
else to which the response is "they passed to a better life," which
means they left the country.
This organization, ubiquitous in the '60s and '70s, no longer represents
the threat that terrorized so many people. It is strange, at least in
Havana and other provincial capitals, that the CDR surveillance
continues, a task that was presented as the original and main work of
the committees. On the other hand, membership in the CDRs has become
ever more formal and meaningless, as the only thing demanded from each
member is that they pay the dues, which allows them to aspire to a job
that requires them to be trustworthy, because they can identify
themselves on the forms as a CDR member.
One of the most common difficulties for the organization now is to
complete all the assigned tasks. That is why at the beginning of the
year a campaign was developed to attract young people to infuse fresh
blood. According to official reports, currently 42% of the leadership
positions are held by people under 35.
Another novelty is trying to revive the lost vigor of the CDRs by
calling them non-governmental organizations, dedicated to acting on
behalf of the community, with voluntary blood donations, organizing
sporting activities and the beautification and cleaning of public areas.
In this regard, Carlos Rafael Miranda, National Coordinator of the CDRs,
said in a recent interview in the national press, "We have to ensure
that every CDR has its own content, that implies that its members become
involved in the transformation of the community for the good of
neighbors. The organization has to be useful for the neighborhood. And
it is essential to our core mission, which is the unity of
revolutionaries in defense of the Revolution."
As a part of the attempts to "civilize" the tough forces of the CDR,
political persecution is now disguised as "the fight against crime,
illegalities and social indiscipline." In this way they propose to give
it a preventive character, even when it comes to such sensitive issues
as trafficking in and using drugs. In this aspect great importance is
given to the 308 "Detachments Watching the Sea," which are dedicated to
investigating and collecting drug caches that are thrown overboard along
Cuba's coasts by drug traffickers before they are captured.
All efforts to mask the repressive face of the institution become
useless when the highest levels require the immediate mobilization of
the "rapid action brigades" to confront any opposition demonstration.
Then, the community's guileless benefactors go from being willing to
donate their own blood, to willingness to shed the blood of others, and
the vocation to work together to improve the neighborhood becomes a
fierce intolerance of divergent thinking.
The eclipse on this night of celebrations is not announcing anything good.
Source: Soup Under the Eclipse / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar |
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